Summary: Final message in a series on King Saul, "Portrait of a Politician" -- looking at Saul’s failed leadership.

Trinity Baptist Church July 20, 2008

Portrait of a Politician

The Deposed King

1 Samuel 15-31

In tough economic times maybe you’re thinking about polishing your resume and applying for a different job. If you find yourself looking, let me give you a little help. I came across several statements from actual resumes and job applications – and you might want to take notes and file these under the category of “what not to use” on a resume or application.

First this one – it was under the “qualifications” line on a resume. “I was wholly responsible for two failed financial institutions.” That might be more information than the person realized he was giving. Another one from the “too much information” category: someone wrote, “I intentionally omit my salary history. I’ve made money and I’ve lost money! I’ve been rich and I’ve been poor. I prefer being rich!”

In a similar vein was this one -- “I’m a man filled with passion and integrity, I can act on short notice. I’m a class act and do not come cheap!” Another person -- proud of past accomplishments -- wrote, “I have an excellent track record, even though I’m not a horse!”

There were others who revealed things without saying them. One person attached a note to a resume saying, “Please do not misconstrue my 14 jobs as ‘job-hopping”. I have never quit a job in my life!” Really? Then there was the person who completed a question this way: Number of dependents -- 40!

There’s this answer on an application question, asking about the “reason for leaving last position.” One person answered -- “My supervisor expected everyone in the office no later than 8:45AM. I refuse to work under those circumstances!” One lady said the reason she left her last job was for “maturity leave”!

A prospective employer needs to be able to contact the applicant. One guy wrote, “I’m loyal to my employer at all costs -- please feel free to contact me on my office voice mail.” Finally, under “references” -- one person wrote -- “none – I’ve left a path of destruction in my wake!”

So, if you go job-hunting, double check your resume for lines like those! What you discover with almost any position is, it has a list of qualifications. There are four common kinds – one is education.

A position may require the completion of either H.S. or college – or, it might ask for course work related to the job. There’s an experience requirement. For most jobs, there will be a benchmark of a number of years. Then there are skill requirements. The fourth could be specific licensing or certification.

And of course, if you don’t meet the minimum requirements, it might or might not be worth applying or sending a resume. That more the case when the position involves major leadership responsibility.

Did you ever think much about God’s qualifications for leaders? Both Old and New Testaments inform us God has qualifications – and they’re very different from ours. We usually take use leadership qualities learned from observing the culture. For instance, in churches and Christian organizations we often put people in positions of responsibility “just because”. For instance -- “just because” they’ve led somewhere else; “just because” they reached a certain age; or “because” they’re actively involved, or can talk long and well at meetings. When those become the qualifiers, churches and organizations often pay a high price by getting the wrong leaders.

We’ve been examining a leader whose qualifications fell short. He was Saul, the first King of Israel.

You remember from chapter 8 of 1 Samuel that Saul was selected after the people came demanding a king. They had a list of qualifications -- it was pretty sparse – they mentioned someone leading them out to war -- someone to fight their battles – and, most of all, they wanted someone to be king so they’d be like all the other nations. The saddest part about that last qualifier was, God never intended His people to be like other nations. Their legacy and calling was to be unique – distinctive -- among the nations on earth. They were the only nation that could ever say with confidence and Truth, “God is our King!” But that sad day, as God put it to Samuel, they’re not rejecting you, they are rejecting Me. 1 Samuel chapter 8 taught us, what we demand often is very often not what we need.

Saul’s reign could be outlined by using the word rejection. God used it first – saying the people had rejected Him as their King. So He gave them the desire of their hearts. Saul did okay initially -- but progressively – this new King rejected both God and God’s ways. We saw in chapter 13, how Saul rashly offered the priestly sacrifices because Samuel didn’t show up on Saul’s schedule. In chapter 15 Saul rejected God’s word and God’s authority and did things his way. Today, as we overview the rest of the book, we’ll observe that Saul’s reign and life grew very dark because it’s now God Who has rejected Saul.

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